Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Microsoft could finally simplify its Windows 11 update names

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Microsoft could be preparing to name its next major OS update the “Windows 11 2022 Update.” References to this naming convention have appeared in near-final versions of the next major Windows 11 release, currently named 22H2. Twitter user XenoPanther noticed the naming of the Windows 11 2022 Update in the Getting Started app that appears when you set up a new PC.

The naming could just be a placeholder, or it could indicate that Microsoft is finally simplifying the often confusing update names for Windows. We’ve seen several names over the years, including the Creators Update naming convention for a major Windows 10 update, more mundane names like the Windows 10 May 2021 Update, and more recently the Windows 10 21H2 name.

Microsoft had considered naming its updates after animals or humans, but moved to the more secure monthly naming scheme rather than point releases like Apple does with iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and many other software updates. A move to just the annual naming convention for Windows 11 updates would make sense if Microsoft plans fewer feature-loads.

A recent report suggested that Microsoft has scrapped plans for a “23H2” annual update for Windows 11 in 2023, instead prioritizing the rollout of new features throughout the year. Microsoft recently changed its Windows Insider program, adding more experiments and prototype features that have been tested well in advance. These changes could lead Microsoft to go back to a three-year release cycle for Windows, with a new major version (Windows 12?) expected in 2024.

I would still prefer to see Microsoft move to Windows 11.1 or 11.2 with its major updates. It’s easier to determine what the latest update is and to understand if your PC or laptop is up to date or if you’re waiting for Microsoft or your OEM to approve the latest bits.

Anyway, Microsoft’s next major Windows 11 update is expected on September 20, a week after the company’s regular Patch Tuesday fixes. Windows 11 22H2 – or could it be Windows 11 2022 Update – will include a number of new improvements, such as app folders in the Start menu, drag-and-drop on the taskbar, and new touch gestures and animations.

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